Starlight Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Do you or someone in your family LOVE animals?  If so, this adventure might be one for you to look into while visiting Walt Disney World. We went over the summer last year and it was really neat!  My favorite part was being able to see all the giraffes so close!!
What are some tour details?
The Starlight Safari tour is approximately an hour long.  Guest must be 8 years of age or older to join. There are two groups that go a night as of right now.  Attire is up to you but I would recommend bringing a light jacket if the night is chilly.
Where do I go for the tour?
This safari takes place at the Animal Kingdom Lodge savannas!  You meet outside of Sanaa, which is a restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village. This means that you can have a meal at Sanaa before going on the Starlight Safari if you’d like!!  Just make sure to give yourself enough time to eat and still make the check in process for the tour.
After you check in, you will be taken up front to board one of these awesome open-sided safari vehicles. Don’t worry about picking the perfect spot to sit.  You will be able to get up and move around the safari vehicle when your guide stops to let you all take pictures! Just make sure to sit back down and hold on when you get going again because remember…you are on an African safari…it can get a little bumpy.
Once everyone gets situated and your guide goes over a few details, you will each get your own night vision device to use for the length of the tour. Then off you go through the gates of the Savanna!
What might I see on the Starlight Safari?
There is an opportunity to search for over 30 species of African wildlife! We saw zebras, giraffes, wildebeest and gazelles, just to name a few. The giraffes got really close to us on our safari and we even got to see one laying down, which we learned is very rare to see in the wild.
What happens when the tour is finished?
At the end of the tour, you will head back to the resort to the same spot where you boarded the safari vehicle.  Have your questions ready because your tour guides are very educated about the animals and would be happy to answer them!  Once you get back to Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas – Kidani Village, you will return your night vision devices.
We received a complementary gift before getting off the safari vehicle!!  Please make sure you are aware of the time when you return.  Depending on the day and the time you get back from your Starlight Safari, Disney transportation buses may no longer be running and you will need to have another method of transportation to get you back to your hotel.
How do I sign up?
Contact your personal adventure planner to schedule your tour for your next Walt Disney World trip!  Groups are small so make sure to plan this tour in advance.
Amanda H.

Epcot Food & Wine Fest and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Since it is time for Epcot’s Food & Wine Fest, I thought it was a perfect time to write about our 2016 Fest experience.  My husband and I went to the Fest during the last weekend of the festival.  It was a last minute decision because we had already had a vacation in 2016 (see blog about Alaska) and we had not planned to go to the festival in the same year as our Alaskan cruise.

My husband is somewhat of a foodie, and the festival is something he had expressed a desire to experience “some day”.  Once the decision was made to go, I was able to snag a Pirate room at the Caribbean Beach Resort.  We thought the decor was fun!



We purchased the dining plan, so we made our first night’s dinner at Boma in Animal Kingdom Lodge, featuring an African flavor.  We arrived early so that we would be able to enjoy the decor of the Lodge and go outside to view the animals housed on the grounds.  The food was excellent at Boma.

After dinner, we went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  The tickets are an additional expense, but I am a Christmas nut and I was very much looking forward to the party.  Main Street U.S.A. was all decked out for Christmas with lights, wreaths, music, and it even ‘snowed’!  We went on a few rides, enjoyed the free hot chocolate and cookies, shopped a bit and then watched the parade.  The Disney characters were all dressed up for Christmas.  The music, the lights, the smells……oh, how I loved it!

Disney christmas


The following day we went to the Food & Wine Fest.  I had done a little research and knew that we could use our quick service for some of the food (one quick service will get you 3 samples of food but must be used at the same booth).  I figured that we both could pick up food at different booths and share.  The booths all have a menu posted by them so it is easy to see what they each serve.  Below are photos of one of the booths and a sample of food.  I took many photos of booths and food and, looking through them, I wish I was back there!


During our trip, we enjoyed Mickey’s Party at the Magic Kingdom at night, two days at Epcot’s Food & Wine Fest, one day at the Magic Kingdom, and one day at Animal Kingdom.  For a last minute trip, we were able to do all the things we wanted and even a few things we didn’t expect to do!  We had a few fast passes but, when we did not have fast passes, we were still able to ride other rides without too long of a wait, with just a few exceptions.  Since we did not have any little ones with us, if we chose to do a long wait, it was do-able.

Three tips:  1) instead if purchasing a dining plan, a quick service plan would do; 2) I would not recommend going on the last weekend of the festival.  It got extremely crowded, especially after 4 o’clock or so; and 3) I recommend doing research before you go to find out which booths serve what foods so you can make a daily food plan.

If anyone was considering the Food and Wine Fest and/or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I would definitely encourage them to do so!

Claudia Eggenberger



A Few of My Favorite Things….Animal Kingdom

Being a seasoned Walt Disney World traveler, I have been able to experience much of what Disney has to offer at each of the 4 theme parks.  Sometimes a Walt Disney World vacation can feel like you are running a marathon trying to see and do EVERYTHING, but some of my best memories are from some of the often overlooked experiences.


  1. DeVine

DeVine is a street performer who is found in The Oasis.  She is disguised in a giant plant costume, walks on stilts, and blends into the surroundings so well that many times you won’t even notice she is there until she moves.  DeVine is the type of experience that makes Disney so magical; chances are you will stumble upon her when walking around the park, taking in the sights.

  1. African band

The band in Africa is definitely not a “headliner” experience but it would be hard to miss it because it seems like every time I walk through they have a performance going on.  The performance is lively and upbeat.  It makes you want to dance and often times the audience is encouraged to participate.  Spend a few minutes watching and listening, it will be time well spent and you won’t be disappointed.

  1. Flights of Wonder

Flights of Wonder is an educational and humorous show featuring different types of birds, many exotic or endangered.  The show is very well done and should appeal to all different age groups.  It runs about 30 minutes, and although the pavilion is outdoors and not air conditioned, it is covered and shaded, which offers a bit of a break from the hot Florida sun.  If you are able to get to the pavilion a few minutes before show time, there is a really cute preshow.

  1. Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King is a Broadway style show retelling the story of The Lion King and it is my all-time favorite experience at Animal Kingdom.  The acting, singing, dancing, and other performances are out of this world!  Toward the end, the performers bring children from the audience down to sing and play instruments.  There is not a bad seat in the theater and it is air conditioned, which is nice when the temperatures peak.  If I could only do one thing at Animal Kingdom, it would definitely be Festival of the Lion King!